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Ask Eric Heitmann
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 09/15/2000

Sept. 15, 2000

Ken Yasui (Atherton, CA)
Eric, Congratulations again on a successful '99-'00 campaign. A solid offensive line is the foundation for Stanford's success. This year, the team has three returning starters on the right side of the ball. Also, you have a different style of play that Randy Fasani provides, especially his mobility and athleticism. Do these factors in any way change the O-line's chemistry, teamwork and blocking schemes? My best wishes for the '00-'01 campaign and a repeat Rose Bowl appearance.

Eric: It's great to hear from fans that give credit to the O-line. I really appreciate it. Randy is an incredible athlete whose mobility is a true asset in all of our offensive schemes. As on offensive lineman, it is very comforting to know that we have a guy like that in the backfield. We know that Randy has the athleticism to scramble away from danger and still come up with a huge play. Our chemistry up front always changes from year to year with the addition of new players into the starting five. Our unit this year continues to work hard and improve every week. Look for the Stanford offensive line to play a huge role in the future success of this team.

Steve Smith (Iowa City, IA)
Tell us about your offensive line coach and about your strength coach and his program. How do they compare to other places you saw when you were recruited?

Eric: This is the second season that I have had the pleasure to play under Coach Tom Brattan. He is a very intense coach that stresses a hard work ethic on and off the field. I feel like I have made an incredible amount of progress over the past two seasons with his help and guidance. Our strength coach, Mark Wateska, is able to turn lifting and running into an enjoyable experience. There is never a dull moment in the weight room as he is always keeping us motivated to make improvement and strive for success. I can tell you right now that these two are the best in the country at what they do. It would be hard for any university to match the quality of coaches that exist here at Stanford. We are all very lucky to have these individuals directing our future.

Tom Stanley (Lake Tahoe, NV)
Eric, did you play any other positions growing up and when did you settle in as an offensive lineman? Also, is it true offensive lineman are the smartest players on the field? Thanks for your time.

Eric: I began playing football when I was 12 years old in the sixth grade. That year they put me on the O-line, and that is where I have stayed for the last eight years. I guess that I was settled in at O-line from the beginning. I am sure that some of the other players on the team could disagree that we are the smartest, but the amount of information that an o-lineman must know going into a football game is second only to the quarterback. We are responsible for the scheme and blocking assignment of every play in our entire playbook and each assignment is subject to change depending on which defensive front is put before us. We do have our work cut out for us.

Jake Massey (San Diego, CA)
You see a lot of fabled stories on offensive lineman and their diets (particularly Erik Williams). What does your normal diet consist of?

Eric: Since I have been at Stanford I am guilty of putting on about 30 pounds, but with a healthy diet and a lot of working out I have been able to stay in shape. As an offensive lineman, body weight is extremely important for individual success. If you are too light, you can't move linemen off of the ball. If you are too heavy, you can't chase down linebackers. I try to eat foods that do not add or take away from body weight. I try to stay away from as much fast food as possible, and I really try not to eat before I go to bed. I keep a lot of protein and carbs in my diet, and stay away from as many fattening foods as possible.

Henry Young (New York, NY)
What are your thoughts on last season and the prospects or returning to the Rose Bowl? Good luck this season!

Eric: Last season was a dream for me. I feel very fortunate that my first year starting at Stanford ended with a Rose Bowl experience. We showed last year that we could overcome adversity and prove our critics wrong in our struggle for success. This year's team is composed very similarly to last year. We may have a little bit more inexperience in certain positions but the drive and the heart of this team remains intact. I am expecting our team to improve its game every week and show that adversity only makes us stronger. You never know, we could be in Pasadena again on January 1. Thank you so much for being a Stanford football fan!


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